Living on the outskirts of the national capital in a non-descript Farukhnagar village in Uttar Pradesh, the Muslims are a frightened lot as even the protectors of the law, take law in their hands.
A police officer allowed the Tyagis to go on a rampage against the Qureshis. Later, the local police station in-charge Jai Prakash was transferred with a host of others, but Qureshis life became more miserable as the new daroga, Mahinder Singh Gupta, came out with a diktat banning mutton. They are landless, cattle traders and are therefore economincally badly hit. That is why they feel economically squeezed by daroga’s order..
Now, the Qureshis are running from pillar to post to get the order reversed. Meanwhile, the inspector, however, has no remorse. It is only to maintain the law and order, he said pointing out that the mutton sale was hurting sentiments of the Tyagis, who are vegetarians. “I have just asked people to respect each others sentiments for communal harmony,” he said.
“We are not even allowed to carry mutton from outside,” rues Shahzad Ali, the only post-graduate in the village. “The vehicles are checked at nakas (checkposts) and mutton is seized,” he added.
An ailing 60-year old woman, Makhmal, holds pictures of burnt bodies of her twins, Bhura and Kalwa, saying they could have been saved. But doctors at the Chauhan nursing home in Kosi Kalan refused to treat them. When Bhura, a vegetable vendor was shot in his thigh, his brother took him to DV Chauhan’s hospital. “They refused treatment. The brothers in search of medical care were caught by rioters near the hospital and burnt alive,” says Makhmal, demanding action against Chauhan. Though Chauhan was not available, his associates told DNA that the mob could have burnt the hospital, jeopardising lives of other patients. Also there was no surgeon to operate on Bhura, so we asked them to go to another hospital.
Muslims, however, have refrained from holding Samajwadi Party responsible for all this. Instead they say it is the administration and police who are biased. While a group of Muslims have recommended reservation and more Muslims in a police force to tackle this problem, others said a strict monitoring of the curricula of police academies was a necessity.
However, according to the independents, all political parties are to be held responsible. Newly elected chairman of Tanda municipal corporation Shahubudin Gauri said the riots were engineered to polarise votes ahead of the next general elections. He said BSP suprmo Mayawati was attempting to cobble up an alliance with the upper caste Hindus. “Her openly blaming Muslims for her defeat on the very next day of election results was indication enough to her cadres to teach Muslims a lesson,” he said. Gauri > is also skeptical about the role of SP’s Muslim face Azam Khan. “It seems he is hobnobbing with the Ajit Singh’s INLD in western UP to counter Akhlish’s assertiveness, says Gauri, a JNU alumnus, who won elections as an independent candidate.